If you're feeling dizzy about a new middle leadership role, this blog is for you!
Before you start
You’ve just walked into a new job as a middle leader. I’ve done that more than three times now. There are already a million and one things in your in-tray. Deciding whats important and what isn't is going to be a bloody nightmare; you'll probably have a million different voices calling for a million different things. Given your obvious enthusiasm, you'll probably want to tackle them all at once. That was me in 2013. I dived head first into, well, everything. The result, a scatter gun approach to the role of HOD where everything got done but nothing got done with the kind of deep thinking behind it that would have benefited the department in the long term. I did the job of fire fighter; turning to tackle one blaze after another without ever eliminating the source of the blaze. I left the school in 2015 having done the job but not feeling as though i'd laid down the kind of meaningful roots that a clear vision and plan could have given me. I'm downright harsh on myself sometimes, which is one of my biggest strengths and weaknesses but in this case, I think theres plenty of truth in what i've just explained.
Anyway, I should have started with asking some big questions like “What do you want this department to look like, be like and feel like? Where is the department right now? Where do you want and need it to be and how will you get there? How will you know if you’ve been successful?”.
I should have formulated a simple and effective plan including a clear vision and purpose with clear and achievable objectives. I didn't. This was partly because i'd never really been trained in how to, partly because there was so many books, documents and proformas to support the process, I spent too long d